Local and State Governments need to work more collaboratively if both tiers of government are to deliver better results for the community, Strathfield Mayor Tony Maroun said.
Cr Maroun said the focus on amalgamation loses sight of bigger issues afflicting Sydney, including traffic, land use and population growth.
“The only way the issues in Sydney can be resolved is by the Local and State Governments working closely together.”
“As the closest form of government to the community, local government has the unique ability to represent the community. As a result, the democratic process is enhanced as the community has a voice on all issues. The first step is to allow Local Government to be in control of its future, Cr Maroun said.
“A majority of Mayors and General Managers called for the removal of rate pegging, an end to cost shifting and the need for a more collaborative relationship with the State,” he said. “This is the only way that Local Government can control its destiny, because at the moment, we are too reliant on external factors.”
Cr Maroun also said that it was a myth to think that bigger equalled better, and that local identity was important to the community.
“Our community is strongly against anything that compromises the Strathfield area, as it is what all our constituents identify strongly with,” he said.
“That does not mean we’re not open to entering into partnerships or alliances in order to achieve common goals with other Councils, but amalgamation is a bandaid solution, that will not resolve any issues.”